Tom Atwood
2016 Annual Juried Competition
Honorable Mention

Statement:
Kings & Queens in Their Castles is one of the most ambitious photo series ever conducted of the LGBTQ experience in the USA. Over 15 years, Atwood photographed more than 350 subjects at home nationwide, including nearly 100 celebrities.  With individuals from 30 states, Atwood offers a window into the lives and homes of some of America’s most intriguing and eccentric personalities.   Among the luminaries sublimely depicted are Meredith Baxter, Alan Cumming, Don Lemon, John Waters, George Takei, Alison Bechdel, Barney Frank, Don Bachardy, Billy Porter, Ari Shapiro, Arthur Tress, Michael Urie, Greg Louganis, Tommy Tune, Jonathan Adler and Terrence McNally.  Modern day tableaux vivants, the images portray whimsical, intimate moments of daily life that shift between the pictorial and the theatrical.

I decided to photograph LGBTQ Americans because I felt there was a need for a contemplative photo series of the community.  One fascinating phenomenon my series explores is just how many creative and cultural leaders are LGBTQ.  We may be disproportionately represented in the arts, culture and entertainment.  This seems as true now as it was throughout history.  Homosexuality or a gay sensibility appears in art from virtually every culture and time period – from ancient Peruvian ceramics to nearly all Greek art forms to fourteenth century Japanese art.  Moreover examples of LGBTQ individuals excelling in art and culture abound.  From Native American berdaches, with their exceptional aptitude for crafts, to da Vinci, Michelangelo, Cadmus, Warhol, Rauschenberg and Hockney.  From writers such as Sappho, Oscar Wilde and Gertrude Stein.  To architects such as Philip Johnson.  Actors such as Rock Hudson and Jodie Foster.  Journalists such as Don Lemon, Anderson Cooper and Rachel Maddow.  Fashion designers such as Yves Saint Laurent and Tom Ford.  And of course, photographers such as Bernice Abbott, Minor White, Horst, Mapplethorpe, Leibovitz, David LaChapelle and Catherine Opie.  Alternative gender or sexuality practices and extraordinary talent in arts and culture seem to be intertwined.

Fine art photos rich in beauty and clarity, these photos aim to become both a witness and a celebration.  The series is scheduled for a Spring, 2017 book by Damiani.

Bio:
Tom Atwood has shot over 100 luminaries such as Hilary Swank, Buzz Aldrin and John Waters. He won Photographer of the Year from London’s Worldwide Photography Gala Awards, first place in Portraiture in the Prix de la Photographie Paris and has won over 25 other awards.  His work exhibits at various museums and galleries, most recently ClampArt, Steven Kasher, Louis Stern and PDNB, and has been featured in over 150 publications.  Atwood has a Bachelors from Harvard and a Masters from Cambridge (England).

Artist’s website: www.tomatwood.com/